Eva Hornung writes unusual and powerful books, with an amazing affinity for animals.
In deep shock, he retreats, unable anymore to step foot into the home he loved.
He finds refuge in the barn, in close quarters with the old mare Melba, and the young feisty stallion Fell.
His neighbours in Wahrheit, a close-knit Germanic religious farming community in South Australia, are patiently waiting for the second coming of the Messiah.
Benedict – now living in the barn, never leaving the farm – remains withdrawn from the horrors of the past or thoughts of the future, existing solely through the horses and the needs of the farm and the passing seasons.
Wahrheit’s pastor keeps watch, visiting and bringing food from the community, seeing the gawky teenager slowly rediscover himself. But there are other pressures building in Wahrheit, and the pastor has to find his own way through doubts and trauma.
Hornung won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for her last book, Dog Boy, which explored some similar territory in the close bonds between boy and animal.
Full of symbolism but not overpowered by it, this is a powerful and wonderful book, and the writing is mesmerising.
This book was published in may 2017. The review was printed in the Herald Sun’s Weekend magazine.